Friday, June 10, 2011

React vs. Respond

This afternoon, our family took a tour of our local granite quarry.  This is the second time we've taken the tour and this time, my hubby was able to accompany us.   It was quite chilly standing in line waiting for the bus drivers to arrive (chilly is a relative term.  I'm a Minnesotan.  What I mean is that it was roughly 50° cooler today that it was two days ago).  Thankfully I had Ian in the sling so he stayed nice and cozy.

What we learned today (or what I can remember, anyhow):
  • This Martin Marietta quarry produces roughly 1.5 MILLION tons of product a year.
  • The quarry has been mined to 500 feet in depth.  They estimate the depth of the granite to run roughly 15 miles.  
  • Primary uses of the product from this quarry are for asphalt roads, commercial and residential construction, railways (used to line the tracks) and along shore lines for erosion control
  • The electric bill for the quarry for May alone was $52,000.  I didn't ask what their water bill was.  ;)
  • The cost to replace a tire on a dump truck runs between $10-20,000 depending on the size of the truck.

This is the view of the quarry from the observation deck

 The minerals in the water give it the greenish color

 If you look closely, you can see the dump truck hauling.  At the top of the photo is someone drilling for the next explosive blast (explosives - WOOT!).  

After we got out of the bus, I had to snap a shot of one the stockpiles.  I chose a random setting on the camera (SO not a photographer) and this is what I got.  

We made our way to the tents they had set up to get our bellies filled with hotdogs and chips.  As we were making our way to the line, an employee with a camera looked at me rather puzzled.  She asked, "WOW! Are they ALL yours"?

**pause for a moment**  I had a choice.  A very BIG choice of what to do in this moment.  Do I react or respond?  I'm so incredibly used to questions like this.  Especially when the average family has only two children and ours is more than twice that.

Let me give definitions real quick.  From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of REACT

intransitive verb
: to exert a reciprocal or counteracting force or influence —often used with on or upon
: to change in response to a stimulus
: to act in opposition to a force or influence —usually used with against
: to move or tend in a reverse direction 

Definition of RESPOND

intransitive verb
: to say something in return : make an answer
a : to react in response b : to show favorable reaction
: to be answerable

I'm a reactor.  Very rarely do I stay calm and collected and respond appropriately in such situations.  It makes me quite sad to say that, but it's true. Think of it in terms of medications.  If you REACT to a medication, that's usually a BAD thing.  Responding to a medication means the medication is doing what it is supposed to do to your body. 
I guess I took a neutral stance to the WOW comment.  I said, "They're all mine".  It was followed by, "You must have your hands full" - she says to the woman with a baby in sling (ha! - actually, both my hands are free thank-you-very-much).   I simply said "I sure do" and left it at that.  
Thinking back on it, I could have said many things.  For example, I could have said my hands were full of blessings, or mentioned that I wouldn't change it for the world (and I mean it!).  I can usually think of a million wonderful things to say in response to such comments.  That's usually AFTER my foot has been firmly planted in my mouth.  
So, my goal for the month of June is to RESPOND appropriately and respectfully.  Not only to strangers, but to the blessings that fill up my cozy home. It certainly won't be easy, but I have time to work on it.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's been a long time

My last blog post (and only my third, sadly) was almost two years ago.  I had told myself I needed to write things down and share.   Yeah, didn't go so well.

Some of my close friends and family know that we are dealing with some difficult behaviors with our boys.  These behaviors lead us to believe that it's more than them being difficult and are indicative of an ASD or Autism Spectrum Disorder. 

We've come to a fork in the road when it comes to our psychologist.  She has given ONE of the boys a diagnosis of Asperger's (although we haven't received it in writing as of yet) and has stated she can't tell us what we SHOULD do for them, only what we SHOULDN'T do.  Does this seem odd to anyone else? 

At this point we're not quite sure what to do or where to go or who to see.  Both boys see an occupational therapist once a week and that helps to a point.  But we need more tools in our tool box.  We need to learn how to work cohesively as a family.  Every little issue seems to trickle through the ranks, affecting the family as a whole. 

I guess it doesn't help matters being an instant gratification kind of person.  Perhaps it's God's way of telling me to be patient. 

So for now we're just going to keep on doing what we've been doing and pray for guidance.  Hoping for some turn-by-turn directions from God.